Operation Christmas Child Giving – the 4 little boxes
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples if ye have love one to another (John 13:35)
In 2016, my husband and I felt that participating in Operation Christmas Child would be a great way to teach our small children (ages 1 and 3) about giving without expecting anything in return. Our 3 year old asked us who we were shopping for and we just couldn’t answer that because we had no idea where the 4 little boxes would end up. We explained that it was God’s job to decide who would be most blessed by the gift boxes and that God would get the boxes to where they needed to go. It was our job to give lovingly and cheerfully.
We taught them that sending the boxes would be an opportunity to bless others and help them feel God’s love in a tangible way. We talked to our kids about the joy that it would bring a young child that didn’t have much. We would show them photos and videos online to help them understand this concept. One day it clicked for our son when he said “they look so happy, they don’t even expect anything, but the gifts just show up!” Wisdom from a small child! Yes, that is exactly what Jesus does.
At the same time that we were having these conversations with our children, mission work in Haiti was heavy on my heart. I felt a pull to Haiti but it just wasn’t clear. I was presented with opportunities to serve in Haiti in a few different ways. I had young children, could I even possibly go? As I continued to pray on it, I decided to follow up with the QR code that comes with the Operation Christmas Child shipping labels to find out which country our 4 little boxes were shipped to (this was also always very fun for the kids to see).
That year, the 4 little boxes went to Haiti. It was the final confirmation from God that I needed… He had a purpose for me there. I had no idea that with those 4 little boxes, God would ignite a fire so big. For the next 4 years, God blessed me with the opportunity to be involved in medical mission teams that traveled to Haiti to provide healthcare services (Haiti is a county that doesn’t have organized healthcare). Even more importantly than God providing me with the opportunity to utilize my nursing skills to bless others in a third world country, He established long standing relationships and partnerships with multiple Christian based organizations in Haiti.
God used these relationship and partnerships to become even more effective for his kingdom. Our new friends kept us safe when our teams were in Haiti, we prayed together, served together and worshiped together. We learned each other’s languages so that we could further connect with the people in communities that we were serving. We mentored young men and women in Haiti that wanted to go into medicine to serve their country. God even opened doors for our family to give monthly to these organizations for the last 4 years so that our brothers and sisters could continue their work in country for God’s kingdom when we were not able to work alongside them.
Those 4 little boxes lead to blessings, love, relationships, partnerships, and unity in the international body. Operation Christmas Child is an amazing opportunity to share the gospel, reach children in communities that are hard to reach, come alongside others with the gift of love, and transform lives. You never know what Jesus is doing on the other side of the box. You never know what Jesus will do because of that box.